LAURINBURG — The Lumber River Council of Governments is asking Scotland County residents for their help to bring a more accessible broadband to the area.
“We are partnering with our member governments and are undertaking a broadband aggregation study across Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland counties,” said Executive Director David Richardson. “This study seeks to identify the gaps in broadband availability and to develop a plan that each community and region as a whole can act upon to help improve broadband accessibility within our region.”
According to Richardson, following Hurricane Florence awareness of the need for better broadband services became even clearer than before.
“There was more social media activity because that is how a lot of people were communicating and how residents were accessing important information,” said Richardson. “The council applied for a grant through the Economic Development Administration to aid in our study and to help bring more providers to the area.”
The council is now taking the next step of working toward its goal and is asking residents to complete a survey which will help them further acknowledge the need.
“We are asking that everyone who can, go ahead and complete the survey,” said Richardson. “The deadline for the survey is Aug. 31, but we are hoping residents will fill it out sooner than later.”
Richardson said the ultimate goal is to complete a region-wide and county-specific playbook to help inform and attract broadband suppliers.
“The survey is pretty straightforward,” said Richardson. “It will ask questions about the location where the broadband is needed or lacking and it will include a speed test as well.”
The speed test, according to Richardson is optional but will help show the upload and download speed of the broadband being used.
“If the person filling out the survey does not currently have broadband, they will have an option to say so as well,” said Richardson. “The answers to the questions will determine what you are asked to answer next.
“We are aware of the need in our area,” said Richardson, “and we are hoping our prior steps, as well as this one, will help bring the much-needed broadband services to our residents.”
To respond to the broadband survey visit https://files.constantcontact.com/35bc8a0a001/2dbbe980-11d0-449c-8427-1feb5a8105dd.pdf.
JJ Melton can be reached at [email protected]